This summer, like the past three summers, I’ve set a goal to do a “Mommy Day” with each kid. On this day, I take some time off work, and we do something of the child’s choosing. The one-on-one time feels quite pleasant for me given the crowd control that parenting normally entails around here.
Monday was my 9-year-old son’s turn. His request was fairly low-key. He wanted to go play games with me at Dave and Busters. I suggested adding lunch at nearby Benihana (flaming onions!)
We had a lot of fun! Yes, it’s corny to see a chef throwing knives and lighting things on fire on a grill in front of you. It’s also exciting, and the 9-year-old is my kid most likely to eat real food (he ate corn, chicken, edamame, and rice, and tried the various sauces).
At Dave and Busters we competed against each other on various motorcycle and car-driving games. He showed me how to play a few others. And then I went a little crazy on the piano keys game (where you hit the key corresponding to the colored key on the screen as it runs through a sequence). Let me just say — I have a secret talent for this game. By the time we left, I was holding the number 1, 2, and 3 spots on the leaderboard (photo, for posterity).
We ended with shopping for prizes (a water bottle and Fun Dip), and eating Dippin’ dots ice cream. My son can be a little bruiser at times, but he was so sweet, wanting to make sure we played video games that I would be interested in, and checking that I had enough ice cream. He was then happy as a clam to go home and veg. So this Mommy Day turned out to be only 3.5 hours, door-to-door. As Julie Morgenstern noted in her Best of Both Worlds interview yesterday, it really does’t take much! This was good because it meant I had time to work before, which turned out to be helpful when the day went completely off the rails, but more about that some other time.
In other news: A failed lesson in economics this weekend…I’d taken the 9-year-old with me to the grocery store to buy food for a small dinner/swim party we were hosting. Corn on the cob was 10 ears for $5 un-shucked, or $5/5 ears shucked. So I bought 10 ears with the leaves on them, and planned to have the kids shuck them. Their time is not worth the $15-20/hour this rate implies. But then, of course, as we got close to the people showing up the kids were in and out and doing various things and I wound up shucking the corn. So much for my cheap source of labor.